A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cartagena de Indias was established in 1533 as a Spanish colony and later a principle slave trade port. Located on the Caribbean Sea, it is almost always hot and sunny, and the people match the climate with their happy, welcoming personalities. Named one of the most romantic cities in the world, you'd be crazy to not fall in love.
From national sports teams, to pristine beaches and coral reefs, to international film, music and art festivals, there is something for everyone in Cartagena. Filled with more fresh fruits than you could name, more cultural events than you could attend, and more organized and dedicated projects who are interested in volunteers than many other developing countries, Cartagena is the perfect place to explore and to volunteer.
Located on the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena has a hot, tropical climate year round. No need for your jacket here!
Cartageneros are social, laid-back and happy people. Families live together and are the core of society. Many are Catholic. Much of their lifestyle is rooted in African and Spanish histories: music, dance, race, language, and food, among others.
A mix of Caribbean, African and Spanish cooking styles. A typical meal is fresh fruit juice, meat, rice, and a salad. Mangos, ceviche, coconuts, avocados, empanadas, and fried plantains are everywhere. Eateries range from high-end restaurants to a plethora of street food, all delicious.
Spanish is the national language. Some people speak English, although most do not and it is uncommon in areas away from touristic zones.
Cartagena has pride in its history and culture. Concerts, dances, religious festivals, and art expositions are common. Annually, there are international jazz, classical and electronic music festivals in addition to a film, literary and arts festival, plus Carnival. There is so, so much to do and learn.